Thursday, May 5, 2016

Health Benefits Grapefruit

The grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit. Grapefruit is a hybrid originating in Barbados as an accidental cross between two introduced species, sweet orange  and pomelo or shaddock , both of which were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century. When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit"; and it has also been misidentified with the pomelo.A nutritious member of the citrus family, grapefruits are large, tart and tangy fruits known primarily for their vitamin C content. The fruit, often mistaken for a pomelo, can be found with either white, pink, or red pulps – all with different levels of sweetness while offering very similar benefits. The best part? While grapefruits are normally in season from winter through early spring, you can experience the health benefits of grapefruit all year round.

The evergreen grapefruit trees usually grow to around 5–6 meters (16–20 ft) tall, although they can reach 13–15 m (43–49 ft). The leaves are glossy dark green, long (up to 15 centimeters (5.9 in)) and thin. It produces 5 cm (2 in) white four-petaled flowers. The fruit is yellow-orange skinned and generally an oblate spheroid in shape; it ranges in diameter from 10–15 cm (3.9–5.9 in). The flesh is segmented and acidic, varying in color depending on the cultivars, which include white, pink and red pulps of varying sweetness (generally, the redder varieties are sweeter). The 1929 US Ruby Red (of the Redblush variety) has the first grapefruit patent.

Colors and flavors
Grapefruit comes in many varieties. One way to differentiate between varieties is by the flesh color of fruit they produce. The most popular varieties cultivated today are red, white, and pink hues, referring to the internal pulp color of the fruit. The family of flavors range from highly acidic and somewhat sour to sweet and tart. Grapefruit mercaptan, a sulfur-containing terpene, is one of the substances which has a strong influence on the taste and odor of grapefruit, compared with other citrus fruits.

Nutritional properties
Grapefruit is a rich source (>20% of the Daily Value, DV in a 100 gram serving) of vitamin C, contains the fiber pectin, and the pink and red hues contain the beneficial antioxidant lycopene. Studies have shown grapefruit helps lower cholesterol, and there is evidence that the seeds have antioxidant properties. Grapefruit forms a core part of the "grapefruit diet", the theory being that the fruit's low glycemic index is able to help the body's metabolism burn fat.

Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) has been shown to have strong antimicrobial properties against fungi. It is also believed to have antimicrobial properties for bacteria; however, there are no known studies that demonstrate its efficacy. Additionally, although GSE is promoted as a highly effective plant-based preservative by some natural personal care manufacturers, studies have shown that the apparent antimicrobial activity associated with GSE preparations is merely due to contamination with synthetic preservatives.

There is a popular myth that grapefruits contain high amounts of spermidine, a simple polyamine that may be related to aging. The myth probably relies on the confusion between spermidine and putrescine. While citrus fruits show high amounts of putrescine, they contain very little spermidine.

Health Benefits of Grapefruit

Seeing as grapefruits are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, there is no doubt that the fruit can provide numerous health benefits. Below you will learn about at least 10 grapefruit health benefits that you can share with your friends and family.

High level of Antioxidants
Grapefruit contains a high concentration of Vitamin C as it’s a citrus fruit. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant.It helps in preventing and provides protection against the cold and flu. It does so by strengthening the immune system.It’s not Vitamin C alone that ensures the strengthening of the immune system; Vitamin C combines with other nutrients and vitamins to optimize the immune function. The high amount of antioxidants in grapefruit fight the damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Thus, it protects from skin cancer and gives a youthful appearance to the skin by stunting the aging process.Also, grapefruit nourishes skin to protect from many skin disease

An Incredible Lift to the Immune System
Copious amounts of vitamin C helps prevent or fight the common cold. There are some indicators that vitamin C may also protect against cancers of the mouth and stomach. Grapefruit also combat free radicals that can reek havoc in the body. Cancer, stroke, and heart attack may all related to unchecked free radicals.

Liver Cleansing, Detoxifcation 
Grapefruit contains numerous liver-cleansing agents. Among them are vitamin C, various antioxidants, and phytonutrients called limonoids that helps toxic compounds to excrete from the liver by making them more water soluble. The fruit also contains a flavonoid compound known as naringenin, as mentioned earlier, which causes the liver to burn fat rather than store it.

Protect from Inflammation
Grapefruit is a rich source of antioxidants like Vitamin C that protects from inflammation.Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen that repairs and heals blood vessels, tendons, joints, and bones.This way it protects from inflammation and pain caused due to the severity of inflammatory conditions. Its function makes it a valuable aid in the treatment of osteoporosis and arthritis.It controls the severity and degeneration of bones which is a characteristic of arthritis.

Natural Fat Burner
Grapefruit that burns fat is not a simple rumor or fad. Scientific research reveals the amazing power of this wonderful breakfast or anytime fruit. Simply enjoy a glass of grapefruit juice or half of a grapefruit before each meal to reap the benefits. Those who participated in the experiment lost up to four pounds in twelve weeks.

Helps Treat Gum Disease
According to a study published in the British Dental Journal, consuming 2 grapefruits each day for two weeks results in significantly less bleeding of the gums. Grapefruits were shown to drastically increase plasma vitamin C levels and help manage periodontal disease.

Reduces Cholesterol
LDL or Low-Density Lipoprotein is termed as bad cholesterol whereas HDL, the High-Density Lipoprotein is considered good cholesterol.Though grapefruit has no cholesterol in its composition, compounds present in grapefruit helps in the reduction of LDL cholesterol and increase the levels of HDL cholesterol.Studies have conclusively shown that Red grapefruit followed by white grapefruit are very useful in improving the cholesterol levels and balance in the body.But this is not an overnight process. It shows results only when regularly consumed over a long period

Promoting a Healthy Pregnancy
Rich in folate and vitamin C, grapefruits can be great for promoting a healthy pregnancy. Vitamin C works to promote proper bone growth, bone development tissue repair, and helps to maintain cell strength in the womb. Folate, an extremely important B vitamin for pregnant mothers, helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida and helps the baby to grow sufficiently.

Lowers your Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease increasingly becoming common in the middle-aged population.Nowadays even children are falling prey to the condition called Juvenile diabetes or type I diabetes.Type I diabetes occurs in newborn infants or younger children and requires massive external insulin supplementation.Type II diabetes occurs more often in people who are much older. It begins at the age of about forty years and can be controlled by maintaining healthy active lifestyle and managing diabetes-friendly diet.Diabetics  cannot eat a majority of fruits because of their high sugar content. The good news is that they can safely eat grapefruit and, in fact, increased consumption helps to reduce and burn the starch and sugar content in the body. Even if you are not diagnosed with diabetes, but have a family history that makes you vulnerable to it, then you should include grapefruit in your diet.

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